Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
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Jim Shead's Waterways Information

An encyclopedia of the canals and rivers of England and Wales, including historical data, provided by Jim Shead, Waterways Writer and Photographer.

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Featured Pages

Birmingham Canal Museum Do we need one can we get one? Have a look and complete the survey to give your views. If you are organizing a UK canal or river event that you would like added to this list please let me know.

Today's Featured Waterway Photo

Diggle Summit Lock No 32 W
For more information see Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

The Boat Listing is now hosted by CanalPlanAC. Please update your Favourites/Bookmarks to http://canalplan.org.uk/boats/

For more information about the Boat Listing see About the Boat Listing

If you are a newcomer to the subject, or this web site, you may want to start with my Introduction pages. These give an introduction to this website, the UK Waterways System, its history and to inland boating on canals or rivers.

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Books, videos, DVDs and links to other canal shopping sites.

For non-waterway travel photographs see www.jim-shead.net

I am also webmaster for the following waterways sites Railway & Canal Historical Society
The Association of Nene River Clubs
House of York

All about the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) click here

Quote of the day No 338

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Today the phrase ‘a mania for canals’ suggests an impassioned love of Britain’s old waterway system. For canal maniacs — and I count myself among their number —there is a deep pleasure to be found in chugging at the steady speed of a none-too-brisk walker through quiet countryside, or in sidling up, almost unnoticed, among the back streets of town and city. It is an activity more than a little tinged with nostalgia for what can now seem to be a wonderfully unhurried way of life, free from the stresses of modern living. The fact that in reality it was a life of unremitting hard work for meagre financial reward does not diminish the warm glow of romance that surrounds the world of the working canals. They have become, to many, no more than quaint survivors from an earlier age. But it was not always so.

Two hundred years ago ‘canal mania’ had a very different meaning. Then it suggested a wild enthusiasm for a new and exciting mode of transport that was to carry the world to a Utopia, based on industry and trade. The canal maniacs of the 1790s had no reveries of gently gliding over placid waters; if they dreamed at all, their dreams were of boats weighed down with cargo and of balance sheets loaded with profits. No account of a boat gently sliding under high-arched bridges of mellow, red brick or of drifting on a summer’s day under the cool branches of a softly leaning willow stirred their blood. Looking through the newspapers of the time, one soon finds examples of the sort of account that got their pulses racing.

Anthony Burton - Canal Mania

For more information about these daily quotations see About the Quote of the Day.

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Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
Home Introduction Waterways List Waterways Map Links Books DVD Articles Photo Gallery
Features Contact me Glossary Boats Events List History Local Waterways Help Photo List